Esther 2




BE QUEEN IN VASHTI’S PLACE (vs. 1-18). Vashti having

ceased to be queen, Ahasuerus appears to have been in no haste to assign

her dignity to any one else. Probably there was no one among his other

(secondary) wives of whom he was specially fond, or who seemed to him

pre-eminent above the rest. And he may even have begun to relent in

Vashti’s favor (as seems to be somewhat obscurely intimated in v. 1),

and to wish to take her back. Under these circumstances the officers of his

court would become alarmed. Vashti’s disgrace had been their doing, and

her return to power would be likely to be followed by their own dismissal,

or even by their execution. They therefore came to Ahasuerus with a fresh

piece of advice: “Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king; let

officers be appointed in every province to select fitting damsels, and send

them up to the court, for the king to choose a wife from among them.” So

sensual a monarch as Xerxes (Herod., 9:108) would be strongly tempted

by such a proposal (vs. 2-3). Ahasnerus embraced it at once (v. 4), and

orders were given accordingly. The quest began, and among other maidens

selected by the officials as worthy of the royal consideration, there

happened to be a young Jewess, named Hadassah, the cousin and adopted

daughter of a Jew called Mordecai, a eunuch attached to the court, who

had a house in Susa. Hadassah was beautiful both in form and face (v. 7),

and having been selected by those whose business it was to make the

choice, was conducted to the palace, and placed under the care of Hegai,

the eunuch who had the charge of the virgins on their arrival (v. 8).

Hadassah, who on becoming an inmate of the palace received the Persian

name of Esther (= Stella), attracted at once the special regard of Hegai,

who granted her various favors (v. 9), and after she had been “purified”

for a year (v. 12), sent her in her turn to appear before the king (v. 16).

The result was such as Hegai had perhaps anticipated. Ahasuerus,

preferring her to all his wives and to all the other virgins, instantly made

her his queen, placed the crown royal upon her head, and celebrated the

joyful occasion by a grand feast, and a general remission of taxation for a

specified period (vs. 17-18). Thus the humble Jewish maiden, the orphan

dependent for her living on a cousin’s charity, became the first woman in

all Persia- the wife of the greatest of living monarchs — the queen of an

empire which comprised more than half of the known world.


1 “After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was

appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what

was decreed against her.”  After these things. Probably not very long after.

Between the great assembly held in Susa in Xerxes’ third year, B.C. 483, and his

departure for Greece, B.C. 481, was a period of about two years, or a little

more. The application of the officers must have been made to him, and the

directions to seek for virgins given, during this space. Ahasuerus

remembered Vashti. With favor probably, or at any rate with regret and

relenting. His anger was appeased, and balancing what she had done in

one scale, and in the other what had been decreed against her, he may

have begun to question whether her punishment had not been too severe.


2 “Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, Let there be

fair young virgins sought for the king:”  The king’s servants that

ministered unto him. i.e. the great officers of the court, eunuchs and others,

who had been more or less concerned in the disgrace of Vashti. Fair young

virgins. Or, “young virgins fair to look on” (see ch.1:11).


3 “And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that

they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace,

to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king’s chamberlain,

keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them: 

4 And let the maiden which  pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti.

And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.”  The house of the women.

In an Oriental palace the women’s apartments are always distinct from those

of the men, and are usually placed in a separate building, which the Greeks

called the gynaeceum, and the Jews “the house of the women.” At Susa this

was a large edifice, and comprised several subdivisions (see v. 14). Hege, the

king’s chamberlain. Literally, “the king’s eunuch, i.e. one of the royal eunuchs

(see ch.1:10). Keeper of the women. Strictly speaking, Hege seems to have

been keeper of the virgins only (see v. 14); but he may have exercised a certain

superintendence over the entire gynaeceum. Their things for purification.

See v. 12. Such a divinity lodged in the Persian king that even pure maidens

had to be purified before approaching him! It would have been well if the

divinity had been himself less impure.



5 “Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name

was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a

Benjamite;  Now in Shushan… there was a certain Jew. Hitherto the

narrative has been a mere story of the Persian court. Now at last a Jew is

brought on the scene, very abruptly; and the history is to a certain extent

attached to the other sacred books, and assigned its place, by the

genealogy which follows. Whose name was Mordecai. The name

Mordecai must almost certainly be connected with that of Marduk, or

Merodach, the Babylonian and Assyrian god. But it may have been given

to his son by a Baby-Ionian Jew without any thought of its derivation or

meaning, perhaps out of compliment to a Babylonian friend or master.

Another Mordecai, also a Jew, is mentioned by Ezra (Ezra 2:2) and

Nehemiah (Nehemiah 7:7).


6 “Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity

which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom

Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.”

Who had been carried away. The word who may have

either Kish or Mordecai for its antecedent. It is simplest, however, and

most grammatical (see ‘Dictionary of the Bible,’ vol. 2. p. 419), to refer it

to Kish. Chronological considerations also lead to the same result; and

indeed, if we suppose Mordecai to be intended, we must give up the

identification of Ahasuerus with Xerxes. The captivity which had been

carried away with Jeconiah. There were at least three captivities of

Judah the first when Daniel was carried away, in the third year of

Jehoiakim (Daniel 1:1), which was B.C. 605; the second that here

referred to, when Jehoiachin, or Jeconiah, was made prisoner, eight years

later, or B.C. 597; and the third when Zedekiah was taken and Jerusalem

burnt, in B.C. 586. Kish belonged to the second captivity. Whom

Nebuchadnezzar… carried away. See II Kings 24:15; II Chronicles 36:10;

Jeremiah 24:1.



A Captive Hebrew (vs. 5-6)


Among “the children of the captivity” were some remarkable instances of

high character, beautiful patriotism, sincere and conspicuous piety. Ezra,

Nehemiah, and Daniel come before the mind of the student of the later

books of the Old Testament as persons who would have been an honor to

any nation, any age, any condition of life. Mordecai may claim to rank

with, or only just below, these noble men. His career furnishes us with

several striking illustrations of the wisdom and efficiency of the plans of

Divine providence.  We must not be discouraged when tyrants and flatterers seem

to have their own way. The Lord reigneth. He has a thousand ways of fulfilling

His own purposes. He bringeth the counsel of men to nought.  We must at all

times trust and hope in the Lord. He bringeth forth their righteousness as the light,

and their judgment as the noon-day. Our extremity is his opportunity. They that



  • We see, in Mordecai’s life, HOW PROVIDENCE PREPARES


rearing and nurturing his young cousin Esther, and in his preserving the

king’s life by discovering the plot of the eunuchs, Mordecai was

unconsciously preparing himself for the great service which was his chief

claim to be held in remembrance and honor. How often do we observe the

same fact — the unconscious education of His people by the Lord for the

future work to which He destines them!


  • We see, in Mordecai’s life, HOW PROVIDENCE CAN RAISE THE


exile, a eunuch probably, a servant in some lowly capacity in the palace.

Yet he came to be acknowledged as “the man whom the king delighted to

honor.”  (ch. 6:6)  He came to be in the king’s favor, “was great in the king’s

house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man

Mordecai waxed greater and greater” (ch. 9:4) and became “next unto king

Ahasuerus.” God, in His wisdom, often exalteth them of low degree.”

(Luke 1:52)


  • We see, in Mordecai’s life, HOW PROVIDENCE CAN USE THE


we know about this man leads us to the belief, that in selecting him for the

work God chose to do by human means, Divine wisdom evinced

independence of and superiority to the standards and the expectations of

men. Our confidence should be shaken in the plans of men, should be

strengthened in the wisdom of God. And we should beware of scorning

any child of God, and of counting the lowly as unworthy of confidence and

esteem. “Promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor

from the south. But God is the Judge; he putteth down one, and setteth up

another.”  (Psalm 75:6-7)


7 “And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter:

for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and

beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead,

took for his own daughter.”  He brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther.

“Hadassah” has been compared with “Atossa,” and “Esther” with “Amestris;”

but there is probably no more ground for the one identification than the other.

Mordecai’s cousin received originally the Hebrew name of “Hadassah,” a

derivative of hadas “myrtle” (compare “Susannah” from shushan, “lily”);

but was subsequently called by the Persians “Esther,” which may either be

Ishtar, “Venus,” or an equivalent of the Zend ctare, Mod. Pers. sitareh,

Greek ajsth>r, Engl. “star,” etc. His uncle’s daughter. Therefore his own

first cousin, but probably much younger than himself. Whom Mordecai…

took for his own daughter. Not perhaps By a formal adoption, but by

taking her to live with him, and treating her as if she had been his own

child. This fact is related to account for the terms of familiarity between the

two, which form an essential part of the later narrative. It introduces Mordecai

to the reader under a favorable aspect, as kindly and benevolent.



Esther (v. 7)


The Jewess after whom this sacred book is called has been always regarded

by her nation with affectionate gratitude, on account of the service she

rendered to Israel during the captivity. And there are some features of her

character which claim our notice and admiration, and which explain the

position she holds in the heart of the Hebrew people. We recognize in




adopted by her cousin and senior, Mordecai, who “took her for his own

daughter,” and “brought her up.” Accordingly, she treated Mordecai as her

father. His will was law to her. She sought and obeyed his advice. Even

when upon the throne she did not lose her reverence for the guardian of

her youth.



place, and in unfamiliar society, and in a difficult position, Esther

commended herself to the favor of those with whom she was brought into

contact. Simple, unexacting, compliant, she won all hearts.


  • WIFELY AFFECTION AND DEVOTION. Esther rapidly gained

influence over the king, who raised her to share his throne. She evidently

gained her position and influence not by haughtiness and arrogance, but by

amiability and affection, by humility and grace.


  • SINCERE PATRIOTISM. “How,” said she to the king, “can I endure

to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see

the destruction of my kindred?”  (ch. 8:6)  Though raised to be a queen, she

did not forget the people amongst whom her earliest years had been passed,

and in whose religion she had been trained.


  • WISDOM AND BOLDNESS OF POLICY. Esther, as the queen of an

arbitrary and capricious monarch, was placed in a position of immense

difficulty. She conducted herself with wonderful discretion. Especially she

knew when to act with a firm though modest boldness. Her whole conduct,

with regard to Haman and with regard to Ahasuerus, was marked by

sagacity, patience, and a wise audacity. And it resulted in a conspicuous

and happy success. The poor orphan captive came to a throne, and thence

wrote with all authority to confirm decrees, delivered a nation from

impending peril, and instituted a festival which has lasted through

centuries of human history.




Adoption (v. 7)


Esther was early left fatherless and motherless, and in her orphanage found

a friend and benefactor in Mordecai, her cousin, and evidently her senior by

many years. He adopted her, and treated her as his own child. Under his

roof and protection she lived, until, for her beauty, she was selected for the

household of the king. This is but one of many illustrations of the practice

of adoption issuing in signal advantages to both parties.



Mordecai’s adoption of her as his own daughter. Her wants were supplied;

a home was provided for her, a suitable education was given her, and her

character was trained to habits of obedience and piety. She was protected

from the temptations which might otherwise have assailed a beautiful

orphan girl. And in due time her station and her work in life were pointed

out by Divine providence.




brightened by the presence of a bright and lovely daughter; his heart was

gladdened by her filial affection and gratitude; his solicitude and care were

rewarded by her attention to his wishes and compliance with his admonitions.

And, more than all, the time came when his adopted daughter was the agent

in saving his life and the life of the community and people to which they both

belonged. Never could he regret having received Esther as his own child.

Ever must he have looked back upon his adoption of her as one of the

wisest acts of his life; as one which God manifestly smiled upon and






ADOPTING LOVE that we owe our position of privilege, happiness, and

hope. “What manner of love hath the Father bestowed upon us, that we

should be called the children of God?”  (I John 3:1)  Happy we if we have

received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father! (Romans

8:15)  What obligations to gratitude and affectionate obedience are connected

with the pity of God and the grace of Christ, through which we have been

received into the heavenly family!




Ø      There may be those, people of good means, and childless especially, who

may do wisely, who may exercise true benevolence, by adopting an

orphan child, and receiving such a destitute one into their home.


Ø      Adopted children are laid under a stringent obligation to recompense the

kindness shown them by their benefactors, by their obedience, devotion,

and anxiety to serve and please.


Ø      Great is the mercy of God, who invites us, “by nature children of

wrath,” into His spiritual family. There can be no question more

momentous for each hearer of the gospel than this: “Am I a child of

 God through faith in Christ Jesus?”


8 “So it came to pass, when the king’s commandment and his decree

was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto

Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was

brought also unto the king’s house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper

of the women.”  His decree. Literally, “his law” — the same word as that

which occurs in the phrase “the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth

not(Daniel 6:8, 12, etc.). Hegai. The “Hege” of v. 3. Slight

differences in the mode of spelling names were common at this period.

Esther was brought. Some have rendered, “was forcibly brought;” and in

the second Targum on Esther there is a story that Mordecai concealed her

to prevent her from becoming an inmate of the royal harem, and that the

king’s authority was invoked to force him to give her up; but the Hebrew

word translated “was brought” does not contain any idea of violence; and

the Persian Jews probably saw no disgrace, but rather honor, in one of

their nation becoming even a secondary wife to the great king.


9 “And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him;

and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such

things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to

be given her, out of the king’s house: and he preferred her and her

maids unto the best place of the house of the women.”

The maiden pleased him. Literally, “was good in his eyes,” the

same expression as that which occurs in ch. 1:21. And she

obtained kindness of him. This is a phrase peculiar to the Book of Esther,

and a favorite one with the author (see vs. 15, 17; and ch.5:2).

It is better translated “she obtained favor” (as in all the other places where

it occurs) than “she obtained kindness,” though the latter translation is

more literal. Her things for purification. See v. 12. With such things

as belonged to her. Literally, as in the margin, “with her portions” — by

which is probably meant her daily allowance of food. And seven maidens.

Rather, “and her seven maidens.” It is implied that each virgin had seven

female attendants assigned to her. Meet to be given her. It was in this

point that the “favor” or “kindness of Hegel was shown. He selected for

her use the most suitable of the attendants.


10 “Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had

charged her that she should not shew it.”  Esther had not showed her people.

To have confessed that she was a Jewess would probably have roused a prejudice

against her, or at any rate have prevented her from being received with special

favor.  Mordecai, knowing this, had instructed her to say nothing to Hegai on the

subject, and no one else, it would seem, had enlightened him.


11 “And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women’s

house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her.”

Mordecai seems to have been one of the porters at the main entrance to the

palace, and his proper place was at the gateway. He contrived, however,

during some part of each day to visit the court in front-of the seraglio, in

order to see Esther, or at any rate obtain intelligence concerning her.


12 Now when every maid’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus,

after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of

the women, (for so were the days of their purifications

accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months

with sweet odors, and with other things for the purifying of the

women;)”  After she had been twelve months, according to the

manner of the women. Rather, “After she had been (in the palace),

according to the law prescribed to the women, twelve months.” A year’s

purification was considered necessary before any maiden could approach

the king (see the comment on v. 3). Six months with oil of myrrh.

Myrrh was highly esteemed, both for its scent and for its purifying power,

by the ancients. In Egypt it was employed largely in the preparation of

mummies (Herod., 2:86). The Jews were directed to make it one of the

chief ingredients in their “holy anointing oil” (Exodus 30:23-25).

Dresses and beds were scented with it (Psalm 45:8; Proverbs 7:17).

And six months with sweet odors. The word translated “sweet odors”

seems to mean “spices” generally (compare Song of Solomon 4:16).


13 “Then thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she

desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women

unto the king’s house.”  Then thus came every maiden, etc. Rather,

“And when each maiden came thus purified to the king, whatever she asked

was given her,” etc. The whole verse is one sentence. The meaning is, that on

quitting the house of the women for the king’s apartments, each maiden was

entitled to demand anything that she liked in the way of dress or ornament,

and it had to be given her.


14 “In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the

second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the

king’s chamberlain, which kept the concubines: she came in unto

the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she

were called by name.”  On the morrow. Literally, “in the morning.” The

second house of the women. The gynaeceum comprised at least three distinct



1. A residence for the queen, corresponding to that which Solomon built

for the daughter of Pharaoh (I Kings 7:8);

2. A house for the secondary wives, or concubines; and,

3. A house for the virgins. On returning from her first visit to the king’s

chamber, a woman ordinarily became an inmate of the “second house.”

This “second house” was under the care of a eunuch called Sha’ashgaz.


15 “Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of

Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in

unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s

chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther

obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her.”

Abihail, the uncle of Mordecai. Literally, “the paternal

uncle,” or “father’s brother.” The genealogy may be thus exhibited: —

Kish à Shimei à {(JairàAbihail) (MordecaiàEsther)}

Who had taken her for his daughter (see the comment on v. 7). She

required nothing, etc. Esther would not trust to the extraneous and

adventitious beauty of dress or ornaments, or at any rate would give herself

no trouble about such things. If she succeeded, it should be without effort.

Hegai might dress her as he pleased. She left all to him. Esther obtained

favor, etc. Either this is intended as a general assertion — “No one could

ever see Esther without admiring her and feeling favorably disposed

towards her,” — or it has special reference to the particular occasion —

“No one who saw Esther on this evening but admired her and felt well

disposed towards her.”



Favor with Men (v. 15)


We read of Esther that “the maiden pleased” the custodian, and that “she

obtained kindness of him;” that she “obtained favor in the sight of all them

that looked upon her;” that she “obtained grace and favor in the sight of

the king more than all the virgins.”  Thus she obtained the influence which

she used to so good and benevolent purpose in after years.



OUR FELLOW-BEINGS IS GAINED. Natural endowments are the

easiest passport to general favor. A handsome presence, beautiful

features, a winning voice, natural and graceful manners, all have great

immediate influence with society generally. Genius and heroism, learning

and accomplishments, birth and station, all these contribute to popularity.

It seems a very easy thing for some persons to become general favorites;

yet many of the qualities which secure favor are the result of painstaking

and study. In the case of Esther, her extreme beauty, and the simplicity and

humility of her demeanor, and the modesty and integrity of her character,

all contributed to make her the favorite of the king, and the court, and the




Men will listen to the counsels or the requests of those who enjoy their

affection and esteem. In all stations of life there are those who, being in

favor, are therefore in power. Esther used the influence — which another

in her position might have employed for selfish ends — for the public

good. But had she not won esteem and confidence she would have been

without the power to do the great service she rendered.




kings’ favorites used their influence for sordid and vile purposes! And

how often is popularity prostituted to base ends!  Like other “talents,” the

favor a Christian enjoys should be used for the promotion of the cause of

righteousness and human happiness. For the employment of this, as of

other sources of influence, men must give at last an account to God.


The young should cultivate qualities and habits which may give them

favor with men.   We have the Scriptural admonition, “be courteous”

(I Peter 3:8). And we read that the Lord Jesus “grew in favor with God and

men.”  (Luke 2:52)  Those who enjoy favor should endeavor, with watchfulness

and prayer, to use the gift for the good of their fellow-men and the glory of



16 “So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in

the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of

his reign.”  The tenth month, which is the month Tebeth. This is the

only mention of the month Tebeth in Scripture. It followed Chisleu, and

corresponded to the end of December and the earlier part of January. The

word seems to have come in from Egypt, where the corresponding month

was called Tobi, or Tubi. In the seventh year of his reign. Four years

after the disgrace of Vashti, probably in January, B.C. 479. Xerxes had

recently returned from the Grecian expedition defeated and disgraced. He

was glad to dismiss warlike matters from his thoughts, and to console

himself for his failure by the pleasures of the seraglio.



The Pagan Harem and the Christian Home (vs. 5-16)


Every one is inclined to feel kindly toward the orphan Esther, who, at her

own great risk, rendered such signal service to her race. But her

introduction to us as one of the candidates for royal favor, among several

other women of the harem, is far from pleasing. Under the teaching and

influence of Christian truth we have formed habits and acquired instincts

and sensibilities which are so far removed from those of Eastern lands, that

it is difficult to read, without a strong prejudice, even this purely-written

page. We have suggested to us:



CHRISTIAN HOME. We have the virgins “requisitioned” from all the

provinces (v. 8), the fairest and finest being taken from their parents and

friends, a large part of the palace specially assigned them before admission

to the king s chamber (Ibid.), and another devoted to them afterwards,

when they had become his concubines (v. 14); the extensive and

protracted preparation, or “purification,” including everything that could

conduce to bodily comeliness and sensuous gratification, and extending

over an entire year (v. 12); the introduction to the royal presence after a

choice made by the maiden herself of whatever she thought would adorn

her person (vs. 13-14). In all this we have an extravagant and evil

provision for one man’s satisfaction. Well had Samuel warned his

countrymen (I Samuel 8.) against the monarchy of those times and lands.

It meant the elevation of a single individual to a post of such dignity and

power that the people were much at his mercy and held their life, property,

and honor at the caprice of one erring and passionate mortal. How

excellent and how pleasing to be led away in our thought by the suggestion

of contrast from the heathen harem to THE CHRISTIAN HOME!   This is

based on mutual spiritual attachment. It is spiritual; for the love which precedes

and justifies a union of man and wife is not an ignoble passion nursed by

such sensuous attractions as the king’s chamberlain spent his ingenuity in

perfecting; it is a beautiful combination of esteem and affection; the pure

admiration which is felt for the beauty of virtue, for spiritual graces, as well

as for fineness of form and sweetness of face. It is mutual. No union is

sacred, in Christian morality, if the love of the one is not returned by the

affection of the other. And, therefore, it is lasting; not lingering for a few

weeks or months at most, but extending through the whole life, and

becoming more real as the years go by. Begun in youth, it glows in prime,

and shines with serene and steady light through declining years. Let us

mark here a proof of the excellency of our holy faith. One of the very

worst consequences of the reign of sin in this world is the degradation of

woman. Meant to be man’s helpmeet and companion as he walks the path

of life, she became, under its dominion, the mere victim of his ignoble

passion. But what has the Christian faith done for woman, and through her

for society? It has introduced such purity and elevation of spirit, that it is

painful even to read a page like this; so that it has become a “shame to us

even to speak of those things done in secret” (Ephesians 5:12), of the things

heathenism does without any shame at all.  What a contrast between the

Christian home, at this day, and the home of the Mahommedan and the

heathen! The Christian home is the handiwork of Jesus Christ.



(vs. 16-17). It is true that (vs. 6-7) Mordecai was a kindly and

generous man, treating his uncle’s daughter, Esther, as his own child; it is

true that the “fair and beautiful” Esther was modest, and cared not to deck

and trim herself with ornaments, that “she required nothing but what

Hegai, the king’s chamberlain, … appointed” (v. 15). But we should not

have supposed that God would condescend to use such a heathen custom

as this to place one of His people on the Persian throne, and, by such

means, to provide for the rescue of the Jewish race. Yet He did. He thus

brought it about, in His providence, that one who feared Him and was

disposed to serve His chosen people “obtained grace and favor in the

sightof the king (v. 17), and had “the royal crown set upon her head.”

He who “makes the wrath of man to praise Him  (Psalm 76:10) can make

other passions of men to serve Him. We must not be hasty in concluding that

God is not working in some sphere, or by some instrument, because it may

seem to us unlikely. God not only rules, BUT OVERULES.  And when we

can take no part in institutions, or are obliged to refuse to enter circles, or can

have no fellowship with men, because to do so would compromise our principles,

we may stand by and pray that the overruling hand of Heaven will compel

even those things, or those men, to subserve His cause and the welfare of

the world.



heathenism and Mahommedanism perish — and both are “marked to fall”

such a system as that described in this chapter becomes impossible. In

place of it is the purifying influence of the Christian home. What flowers

and fruits of virtue, wisdom, kindness, diligence, purity, bloom and ripen

there. The future of the world is in the Christian parent’s hand. Let the

fathers and the mothers of Christendom do their duty in:


Ø      teaching the truth of Christ, and in

Ø      training their sons and daughters in all Christian virtues, and

then there will go forth an influence for good which shall



17 “And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained

grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set

the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of

Vashti.”  Above all the women. i.e. above all his former secondary

wives, as well as above all the virgins.” The royal crown. See the comment

on ch. 1:11.




Esther made Queen (v. 17)


History records many strange vicissitudes of fortune. The beggar is raised

from the dunghill to the palace; the wealthy is brought to poverty; those

once flattered and caressed are forgotten or despised. In Scripture history

the Arab sheik becomes the father of nations; the boy sold into bondage

becomes the prime minister of the greatest of states; the deserted babe

becomes the mighty leader of a people; the shepherd lad becomes the

renowned king of Israel. And Esther, the poor orphan, adopted by the

despised Mordecai, becomes the successor to Vashti, and the queen of

Ahasuerus, king of Persia.


  • We have in Esther’s exaltation AN INSTANCE OF THE


true it is that “nothing continueth in one stay!” As the ancients figuratively

expressed it, “Fortune is ever turning her wheel.” We know that the hand

of a wise and overruling Providence is manifest to the eye of faith in all the

changes which occur in human life. We should learn not to think too much

of circumstances, but to seek in every state to be content (Philippians 4:11),

and to be ready to profit spiritually by all events, and to turn every position

in which we are placed into an opportunity for serving and glorifying God.


  • Elevation to a high position is AN EFFECTIVE TEST OF

CHARACTER. There are some weak and worthless natures which cannot

endure when put thus to the proof. Such persons when raised to a lofty

station forget, despise, or disown former friends. Other and nobler natures

are benefited by promotion. Such persons retain kindly recollection of

former associates, carry with them into new positions the ancient

sympathies, even enlarged and refined, and, above all, retain the sweet

grace of humility. Esther forgot not the friend of her youth, forgot not the

people from whom she had received her knowledge of the true God. And

she demeaned herself with the exquisite grace of lowliness when exalted to

a throne.


  • Exaltation may bring with it OPPORTUNITIES OF ENLARGED

USEFULNESS. Every station in life affords scope for serving our

 fellowmen.  But a station of eminence and authority has preeminent

advantages of this kind. Noble natures value rank chiefly for this reason,

that it imparts facilities to public services. To Esther there came one great

and signal opportunity of serving her kindred and nation, an opportunity

for which she was indebted to her position as consort of the king of Persia.

And she did not neglect to avail herself of the opportunity thus placed

within her reach.


  • Elevation to power may lead to THE ENJOYMENT OF WIDESPREAD

GRATITUDE AND AFFECTION. Esther used her position in

such a way that she has been held by the nation she rescued from ruin in

lasting and grateful remembrance. Those who employ power for self-

aggrandizement will, by just minds, be contemned; but all who toil “not

for their own, but for their people’s good,” will have their record in the

grateful hearts alike of contemporaries and of posterity.


18 “Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his

servants, even Esther’s feast; and he made a release to the

provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.”

Then the king made a great feast. As Persian kings were in

the habit of doing on every joyful occasion. Even Esther’s feast. It seems

to be meant that the feast was one which continued to be spoken about,

and which was commonly known under this title. And he made a release

to the provinces. As the Pseudo-Smerdis had done when he usurped the

throne (Herod., 3:67). A “release” was an exemption from taxation, or

from military service, or from both, for a specified period. And gave gifts,

according to the state of the king. Literally, that is, “in right royal

fashion” (see ch. 1:7). The practice of making presents, so common

in the East at all times, was much in vogue among the Persians, and was

practised especially by the monarchs (Herod., 1:136; 3:135; 7:26; Xen.,

Cyrop.,’ 8:2, § 7, et seq.; Anab.,’ 1:9, § 22, etc.).





      AHASUERUS’ LIFE (vs.19-23).


Some time after Esther had been made queen,there was a second collection of

virgins at Susa (v. 19), under circumstances which are not related, and which

were probably of small importance. At this time (v. 21) Mordecai, still serving in

his humble office at the palace gate, from which he had not been advanced, since

Esther had told no one that he was her relation (v. 20), happened to

detect a conspiracy against the king’s life, which had been formed by two

of the palace eunuchs, Bigthan and Tercsh, whom Ahasuerus had somehow

offended (v. 21). Being still in the habit of holding communication with

Esther, Mordecai was able to make her acquainted with the facts, of which

she then informed the king, telling him how she had obtained her

knowledge (v. 22). There was nothing surprising or suspicious in a

eunuch of the palace having had speech with the queen, especially when he

had intelligence of such importance to impart to her. On inquiry, the king

found that Mordecai’s information was correct; the conspiracy was laid

bare, and the conspirators put to death (v. 23) — the facts being, as was

sure to be the case, entered in the court chronicle, a daily record of the life

of the court, and of the circumstances that befell the king. It was to have

been expected that Mordecai would have been rewarded for his zeal; but

somehow or other it happened that his services were overlooked he was

neither promoted from his humble office, nor did he receive any gift

(ch. 6:3). This was quite contrary to ordinary Persian practice; but

the court generally may .have disliked Mordecai because he was a Jew.


Release and Gifts (v. 18)


Esther’s marriage was celebrated in a manner intended and fitted to

impress the nation with a sense of the favor and honor with which she

was regarded by the “great king.” There was a great feast at Susa, that the

metropolis might have an opportunity of honoring the new queen. And

throughout the kingdom there took place, according to the command of

Ahasuerus, such celebrations and observances as were in accordance with

Oriental customs. Particularly are mentioned the releases or remissions —

it may be presumed from taxation or military service; and the gifts —

probably of robes, and in some cases of jewels. We may regard these

tokens of kingly favor as emblematic of the blessings provided by Divine

mercy in the gospel of Christ for the sinful and needy children of men.


  • The heavenly King favors us, sinners and spiritual bondsmen, with



Ø      From the service of Satan.

Ø      From the thraldom and punishment of sin.

Ø      By the redemption of his Son, Jesus Christ.





Ø      As the condition and means of all other benefactions regard Him

who is “the unspeakable Gift.”  (II Corinthians 9:15)

Ø      The gift of the Holy Ghost.

Ø      The gift of eternal life.

Ø      Remember that all the bounties of Divine providence come to us

as proofs of the Father’s love, and through the mediation of Christ.


We should rejoice in the bountiful mercies of God!  (I was thinking in walking

up to the house after church tonight, thanking God for even the least of His

mericies and I got to thinking:  None of God’s mercies are little!  ALL ARE

GREAT!  CY – 2014)


19 “And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then

Mordecai sat in the king’s gate.”  When the virgins were gathered together.

Rather, “When virgins.” There is no article. The fact seems to be mentioned simply

as furnishing a date, and we must suppose both that there was a second

gathering, and that the time when it happened was generally known to the

Jews and Persians. Then Mordecai sat, etc. The three verses, 19, 20, 21,

hang together, and form a single sentence: “When virgins were gathered

together a second time, and Mordecai was sitting in the king’s gate — now

Esther had not showed her kindred or her people, as Mordecai had charged

her; for Esther did the command of Mordecai like as when she was brought

up with him — in those days, while Mordecai sat in the king’s gate,

Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, being of the number of

them which kept the threshold, were wroth,” etc.


20 “Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai

had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai,

like as when she was brought up with him.”  Esther had not yet showed, etc.

This is inserted to account for the humble position still occupied by Mordecai.

In the East a person’s relations usually rise with him; and the reader would

naturally expect that when Esther was once queen, Mordecai would have become

rich and great. Esther’s silence accounts for Mordecai’s low estate; Mordecai’s

command (see v. 10) accounts for Esther’s silence. For Esther did the

commandment of Mordecai. The royal dignity did not change Esther’s

heart. She was still the dutiful child she had been so many years. Mordecai

had forbidden her to tell her kindred; he had not removed his prohibition,

so she had kept silence.



Esther (vs. 5-20)


The strange plan adopted for the providing of a new queen in the room of

Vashti resulted in a good choice. We need not assume that Esther was a

willing- candidate for royal honors. The account we have favors the

belief that she passively yielded to a power which she could not resist.

Among the attractive qualities she possessed, we may notice:


  • BEAUTY. She had a fair form and a good countenance. Physical beauty

is not to be despised. It is one of God’s gifts, and has much power in the

world. Yet it exposes the soul to special danger. When not sanctified and

guarded by the grace of God, it becomes a ready minister to vanity and

varied sin. Moreover, it is frail and precarious. A temporary illness will

destroy the brightest beauty. A few years will wrinkle the face of youth,

and give a tottering gait to the most graceful form.


  • MODESTY. Esther’s beauty did not make her vain and foolish. She

avoided all arts to adorn it and increase its effects on others. Modesty is a

lovely grace which adds a new charm to the highest physical beauty. It

conciliates and wins by its own gentle force. An immodest assertion of

one’s self in any circumstances indicates either a want of moral

sensitiveness, or a want of intellectual sight. A pure heart, a true

self-knowledge, and the fear of God, are all and always modest.


  • DISCRETION. In her new and trying position Esther never failed in

prudence. This was the result not of skilful planning, but of a good

training, and of a modesty which quickly saw what was becoming. She

made no effort to please (v. 15). The very simplicity and artlessness of

her conduct won her the favor of the king’s servants, and finally drew to

her the preference of the king himself. Truth and wisdom are one. There is

no brighter jewel in womanly character than the discretion which reflects a

simple and true heart (Proverbs 11:22).


  • DUTIFULNESS. One of the most attractive qualities of Esther was

her daughter-like fidelity to her foster-father Mordecai, both before and

after her election to the throne. She admired, loved, and trusted him. and

submitted as a child to his guidance. Young people dislike restraint, and

long for the freedom of independence before they are ready to bear the

responsibility of it. They often fret under the wise and affectionate

safeguards which their parents impose. Yet in after life most men and

women are willing to confess that they were very ignorant in youth, and

that it would have been well for them if they had understood better, and

followed more fully, the parental admonitions which seemed so irksome.


  • INTEGRITY. Esther bore well the sudden flush of prosperity which

came upon her. This is first and best seen in her unchanging regard for the

man who had been the guardian of her orphaned childhood and youth. Her

elevation to Vashti’s place made no change in her reverent affection for

Mordecai. We read that she “did the commandments of Mordecai like as

when she was brought up with him” (v. 20). A very beautiful and

instructive example! Changes in condition often work sad changes in heart

and conduct. Many grow false to themselves and their past, and to those

who formed the chief good of their past, when some tide of prosperity

raises them into a higher social circle, and creates new ties which can have

no sympathy or connection with the old ones. Nothing is more despicable

than that pride of worldly advancement which forgets or looks coldly on

early friends whose humble fidelities of affection may have laid the

foundation of future success.


There is a higher beauty than the physical. In all precious qualities beauty of

mind and heart far transcends the most brilliant beauty of face or form.

(I know I have seen some pretty ugly people in my life as well as some

ugly pretty people! – CY – 2014)  The “beauties of holiness” are the best

adornments of man or woman. “Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary”

(Psalm 96:6). Zion is the perfection of beauty” (Ibid. ch. 50:2). The prayer of the

Church is, “Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us” (Ibid. ch.90:17).


There is a better possession than worldly rank. The treasure of a good

understanding in the fear of the Lord is of more value than any grandeur of

outward circumstance. A soul that is humble, patient, trustful, loving, holy,

Christlike, has riches that all the gold of Ophir or the diamonds of

Golconda could not buy, and is elevated higher than if it were to occupy

the greatest earthly throne (Ecclesiastes 7:12; Matthew 6:19-21; John 6:27).


The importance of early training cannot be over stressed!   Youth is the seed-time.

Seeds are then sown which, in the after life, will surely bring forth fruit either good

or evil.  Well-meaning parents may be sometimes unwise, and well-trained children

may sometimes go astray; but the rule is“Train up a child in the way he

should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) 

Esther may be taken as an illustration of the powerlessness of worldly influences to

change the feelings of the heart, or the judgments of the mind, or the

government of the life, in the ease of one who in early youth has been trained, under

loving care, in the principles and practices of a holy religious life.


The truth of the saying, “Man proposes, but God disposes.” In all the

incidents connected with Esther’s election to be queen we see the guidance

of an invisible hand. The narrative is brief, simple, and artless; but on that

very account it impresses us all the more with the conviction of a Divine

purpose and leading.




Mordecai (vs. 5-20)


Mordecai possessed a lofty nature, and was destined to do great things; but

our notice of him here is restricted to his relation to Esther up to the time

when she was made queen. He presents to our view:


  • A FINE NATURAL DISPOSITION. When his cousin Esther lost her

parents he “took her for his own daughter.” His heart and home were at

once opened to the little orphaned girl. The natures of men vary greatly.

Some are born tender, some hard; but all may do much to cultivate the

softer affections of sympathy and love. The ties of kindred and friendship

afford many opportunities for their exercise.


  • A RECOGNITION OF THE DIVINE LAW. Mordecai’s adoption of

Esther was in accordance with the spirit of the Mosaic legislation. As a

good Jew, he could scarcely have done otherwise. This, however, does not

detract from the pure benevolence of his conduct. The good actions of

religious people are often regarded as mechanical and constrained, as

springing rather from a slavish fear of authority than from a willing and

loving heart. On this point observe:


Ø      That natural light and strength are insufficient. All history and

experience teach that when left to himself man becomes hard-hearted

and cruel in his self-regard.


Ø      That a Divine revelation of truth with respect to relative and other duties

is an unspeakable benefit. It is a clear light amidst the dark confusions of



Ø      That good natural dispositions are purified and strengthened by a

reverence for Divine truth. Mordecai, apart from religious influence,

might have charged himself with the care of his orphaned relative; but,

if so, his sense of obligation to Jehovah’s law would deepen his

compassionate interest, and give a sacredness to the adopted duties

of fatherhood. Our relationship with God adds power and freedom

to the exercise of all affections that are unselfish and good.



grudged place that Mordecai gave to his cousin in his family. He did not

put her there, and then allow her to grow up neglected. There is much

significance in the words “he brought her up.” They imply, as the result

shows, that he bestowed loving attentions on her; that he trained her

carefully, tenderly, and religiously. It is not enough to acknowledge duty;

the important thing is to discharge it. “If ye know these things, happy are

ye if ye do them” (John 13:17).


  • A HELPER IN TIME OF NEED. Before Esther was removed from

her adopted home, Mordecai had time to speak to her words of comfort

and instruction. One piece of advice he gave her was that she should keep

secret her lineage or nationality (v. 10). It was meant to protect her from

needless humiliations and troubles, and perhaps to remove a hindrance to

her reaching the dignity of wifehood and queenhood. From this fact we

gather that the fatherly Mordecai spent the moments that preceded the

parting in administering solace and courage and wise counsel to the

trembling maiden. A true love never fails, and it shines brightest in the

sympathies and succors which suffering claims.  Of Jesus, our example,

the writer of Hebrews says “For in that He Himself hath suffered

being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted.”  (Hebrews 2:18)



  • A CONTINUING CARE. Mordecai did not cease to watch over the

charge whom God had entrusted to him when she was removed into

another sphere. Separation did not diminish his love or relax his care. He

had evidently an appointment which allowed him to be near her; for we

read in v. 11 that he “walked every day before the court of the women’s

house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her.” Some

parents think that when they get their children off their hands, as it is

called, they have met every obligation of duty. Mordecai thought and acted

differently, and in this he was a type of Christ, who, having loved us from

the first, loved us to the last (John 13:1); who, when we were led captive by sin,

still loved and cared for us, and became Himself our ransom; who, now that

He is ascended above all heavens, is still ever near to guide us by His word

and Spirit in the way that leads to a crown and throne immortal. “Lo, I am

with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20).


As followers of God and His Christ, we should consider the orphaned

and needy (Psalm 68:5; James 1:27).  God blesses those who, like Himself, are

compassionate and merciful.  Mordecai was amply rewarded for all his faithful

and loving care of the orphan child, in the beautiful, modest, wise, winning,

courageous, and pious woman who became the queen of Persia and the savior of

Israel (Matthew 10:42).



Worldly policy (v. 20)


A superficial view might lead to an unqualified admiration of Esther and

Mordecai, the principal characters in the scene before us. And not without

reason, for they exemplify in their conduct some of the nobler qualities of

human nature. With regard to Esther, note:


1. That she remembered in her prosperity the associations of the past.

This did credit both to her head and to her heart; it evinced her sound sense

as well as her humble-mindedness. It is pitiable to witness sometimes the

way in which those who have risen in the world forget their lowly origin;

they look down with contempt upon those who are still in the position

which they themselves once occupied; and nothing wounds their pride

more keenly than the slightest allusion to the home of their childhood. But

such a miserable display of weakness only degrades them in the estimation

of all right-minded men. Esther was very different from this. Amidst the

splendors of the royal palace she could not forget her former obscure lot.

And this must have been an ennobling power in her soul, elevating her

above the corrupt influences of a profligate court.


2. That she showed gratitude to the man who had befriended her in

adversity. She had been left a helpless orphan; and must have been thrown

upon the mercy of a heartless world, had it not been for the timely aid

of her generous kinsman. But there are natures upon whom such services

make no lasting impression. They are altogether absorbed in self.

Affluence, luxury, ease, harden their hearts, and make them utterly

insensible even to the claims of gratitude. But Mordecai’s kindness to

Esther embraced her entire being; it pervaded all the motives which

fashioned her life. Whenever she hesitated how to act, she would put to

herself the question, “What would Mordecai advise?” and upon the answer

would depend her course of conduct. And this is the highest style of

affection, which issues in obedience, self-renunciation, submission to

another’s will. With regard to Mordecai, note:


3. That he had made the greatest sacrifice for the sake of another. He

must have loved Esther deeply, tenderly, devotedly. And no wonder. Her

beautiful form, and still more beautiful soul, could not have developed

themselves beneath his eye without stealing away his heart. But when the

grand prospect of her being raised to the throne presented itself, he

hesitated not to give her up. So far we are constrained to admire. But

deeper reflection makes us pause. In this most important juncture they

seem to have been too completely actuated by mere POLICY. That success

crowned their efforts is no excuse for their conduct. On the same ground

you might justify some of the most hideous stratagems ever devised by

depraved ingenuity. Never let the dazzling glare of the prosperity

sometimes attendant upon false moves make us blind to the beauty of

eternal principles. Nor can they be excused on the ground that they were

carrying out the designs of Providence. For in the same manner you might

justify the conduct of Joseph’s brethren in selling their brother, and even

the conduct of the Jews in crucifying the Saviour. What is POLICY? It is

the substitution of the expedient for the right. It is the spirit which

constantly asks, What will best promote our own interests? instead of

asking, What will best satisfy the immutable claims of justice, truth, and

honour? Observe:


  • THAT POLICY HAS A WORLDLY AIM. What is worldliness? An

inordinate love of the present, the sensual, the temporal, with

correspondingneglect of the future, the spiritual, the eternal. Any line of

conduct that is prompted by this temper of the heart must be accounted

worldly. Esther had set her mind upon the crown, and Mordecai supported

her ambitious views. From a heathen standpoint it was a glorious prize, but

to a Jew it was a forbidden acquisition. Probably they contrived to conceal

from themselves their real aim by investing it with fictitious attributes.


Ø      Esther might have desired to elevate the religious tone of the court by

gradually making known the God of Israel.


Ø      Mordecai might have hoped to serve his nation by placing at the seat of

power one who would be willing to help them in time of need. But

wrong can never be right. We may glorify it with fine names, forgetting

that a change of name does not necessarily imply a change of nature.

Let us consider how policy affects men’s conduct in politics, in religion,

and in private life.


o       In politics. Wars are sometimes undertaken, with the professed

aim of extending to benighted races the blessings of civilization

and Christianity, whose real object may be to flatter national

vanity, and satisfy the greed of rulers. Thus base acts acquire

a dignity from the halo cast around them by high-sounding



o       In religion. Men will contend for the success of a religious party,

with whose prosperity their own honor is bound up, under the

mistaken notion that they are fighting the battles of religion itself.

Like the idol-makers who defended the faith of their ancestors

by crying out, “Great is the Diana of the Ephesians,”  (Acts

19:34) while they thought of nothing so much as the gains of

their own craft.


o       In private life. Think of illegitimate trades. They are engaged in

simply because they happen to be lucrative. A man opens a gin

palace, and finds that his coffers are rapidly filling with gold.

(a la Drug Dealer – CY – 2014)  To allay any qualms of

conscience which may occasionally disturb his peace, tie

pictures to himself the vast power for good which an

accumulated fortune may place at his command; but in his




crown which Esther sought to secure was a lawful object of an Israelite’s

desire, how did she endeavor to accomplish her purpose?


Ø      By contracting an alliance with a heathen monarch, which the Jews,

as God’s chosen people, were expressly forbidden to do.


Ø      By becoming that monarch’s concubine before she became his wife.

The loose notions in reference to this amidst which she had been

educated may explain her conduct, but cannot justify it. It may also

be urged that she had no option in the matter, that the monarch’s will

would brook no opposition, that disobedience might bring death. The

only reply is that death is better than dishonor.


Ø      By having recourse to duplicity. She never made known her people, for

fear it might interfere with her chance of promotion. In all this it is

evident that Esther — and Mordecai, her adviser, too — had thought

more of what was expedient than what was right. Note:


o       That the conduct of good people, even in the most important

transactions, are not always to be imitated. Not only in small

matters, but also in great matters, are they liable to err. Precedent

is a poor standard to appeal to, for it may mislead us when the

most momentous principles are at stake.  (As the culture of

contemporary United States IS FINDING OUT!  - CY –



o       That true heroism, consists in doing right, irrespective of the

consequences. This heroism has its type in Daniel rather than in

Esther; in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego rather than in

Mordecai. If you want to see the highest heroism, you need not

gaze upon the battle-field, where men, through the maddening

excitement of the conflict, defy death at the cannon’s mouth,

for there it cannot be found. Rather let your wondering

eyes be directed to the martyr dying at the stake, to the pioneer

of truth braving the scorn of the world, to the patient worker for

the common good who toils in obscurity, and seeks no higher

reward than the approval of his own conscience.


21 “In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king’s gate, two of the

king’s chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the

door, were wroth, and sought to lay hands on the king Ahasuerus.”

In those days. Or, “at that time” — i.e. at the time when the

second gathering of the virgins took place (see v. 19). Two of the king’s

chamberlains. Rather, “eunuchs.” Bigthan, or Bigthana (ch. 6:2),

is probably the same name as the Bigtha of ch.1:10, and possibly

the same personage. Teresh is not mentioned elsewhere. Of those which

kept the door. Two of the eunuchs who guarded the entrance to the king’s

sleeping apartment. This was a position of the highest possible trust, and

gave conspirators a terrible advantage. Xerxes actually lost his life through

a conspiracy formed by Artabanus, the captain of his guard, with

Aspamitras, a eunuch and chamberlain (Ctes., ‘Exc. Pers.,’ § 29).


22 And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the

queen; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai’s name.”

Josephus says that a certain Pharnabazus, a slave of one of the conspirators,

betrayed them to Mordecai (‘Ant. Jud.,’ 14:6, § 4). One of the Targums on Esther

attributes his discovery of the plot to his knowledge of languages. But it is

probable that these are mere guesses. And Esther certified the king

thereof. The original is simpler, “And Esther told it to the king.” In

Mordecai’s name. Mordecai’s name thus came first before the king.

Esther mentioned him as her informant, but did not say that he was related

to her (compare ch.8:1).


23”And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out;

therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the

book of the chronicles before the king.” The subsequent history shows that

Mordecai’s information was found to be correct, since he was ultimately

adjudged to have deserved the highest possible reward (ch. 6:6-10).

The two conspirators were condemned to death and hanged on a tree, i.e.

crucified or impaled, as traitors and rebels commonly were in Persia (see

Herod., 3 159; 4:43; ‘Behist. Inscr.,’ col. 2. pars. 13, 14; col. 3. par. 8).

And it was written in the book of the chronicles. Historiographers were

attached to the Persian court, and attended the monarch wherever he went.

We find them noting down facts for Xerxes at Doriscus (Herod., 7:100),

and again at Salamis (ibid. 8:90). They kept a record something like the

acta diurna of the early Roman empire (Tacit., ‘Ann.,’ 13:31), and

specially noted whatever concerned the king. Ctesias pretended to have

drawn his Persian history from these “chronicles” (up. Diod. Sic., 2:32),

and Herodotus seems to have obtained access to some of them (see the

writer’s ‘Herodotus,’ Introduction, ch. 1.h p. 56). Before the king. i.e. “in

the king’s presence.” This was not always the case; but when the matter

was very important the king exercised a supervision over what was written.



Written, But Not Remembered (v. 23)


“It was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.” The king had

been delivered from danger, but he seems to have overlooked the deliverer.

Ahasuerus had at least one faithful subject, Mordecai. This man had proved

his loyalty by his acts, while Bigthan and Teresh paid the penalty of

disloyalty by being hung. Criminals and the righteous were alike spoken of,

in the chronicles of the king.



IS LIKELY TO FORGET. Ahasuerus commanded Mordecai’s act to be

recorded. He intended to reward him. Mordecai doubtless expected some

recognition of his services, but he was for a long time disappointed. It is a

black blot” on the name of Ahasuerus that he forgot his indebtedness.



KINDLY THOUGHTS.   (“For God is not unrighteous to forget

your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward His

name.”  CY – 2014)  All are written in His book of remembrance

(Malachi 3:16). He, the King of kings, gives reward beyond our

deserts. We should remember how much we owe to Christ, who is the

good Mordecai who warns and saves us. We should write it in our

memories that we owe everything to Him for His grace and forbearance.

Not until we reach the other world, and look over life’s history, shall we

know how much we owe to Him.



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